The e-mail’s subject line was: “Do you love pearls?” The sender, D., a magazine crony of mine from way back, wanted to know if I’d be interested in writing a story about pearls for the Wall Street Journal’s Style section. (Yes, the business paper of record has a Style section.) I was not—am not—looking for freelance writing assignments.… Continue reading The Pearl Story
If you think I’m an expert on jade, you’re barking up the wrong tree. I covet it. I own it. But I will never claim to have anything more than an amateur’s eye for it. My husband once asked a gemologist to advise him on jade, and the gemologist said: “I’ve spent my entire life… Continue reading Jaded
I’m a sucker for the real thing, and sometimes the real thing is glass. Though it’s manmade, glass is as ‘natural’ as any other gem, being based on silica (silicon dioxide, or quartz), the main component of sand. Melting sand into glass, and adding traces of other minerals to produce various colors, is not only advanced technology, it’s high art. What… Continue reading In Praise of Glass
I do like real ones, provided they’re not venomous. Snakes, I’ve always thought, have nice smiles. And they’re not the least bit slimy—they’re sleek and dry, and go about their business quietly. Snake jewelry, however, is something I never aspired to own until I started collecting old Mexican silver and saw the playful, powerful snake designs… Continue reading Girls with Snakes
Some years ago I was trying to describe my latest purchase to my friend Iris, who deeply understands my jewelry addiction, being similarly afflicted. “Well,” I said, “it’s a tiny gold pendant, set with diamonds you can hardly see except for the sparkle. I’d say it’s about the size of…a communion wafer for a hamster.”… Continue reading The Hamster Host
I should be embarrassed to post this. I am embarrassed. Out with it: I own every bracelet in the photo at the top of this post. Count ’em yourself—seventeen. They were made by the lapidary artist and silversmith Scott Diffrient, and purchased in Santa Fe over a number of years. Reader, how can I admit this? I said in my… Continue reading Great Scott!
There are some stones you’re drawn to, some you’re indifferent to, and some that actively repel you. For much of my life, turquoise repelled me. I noticed that the people who loved it almost worshipped it, wearing it as a talisman, a sacred stone with healing properties. Me, I looked askance at healing stones. Turquoise did have… Continue reading Late-Life Turquoise